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Is Sleeping With White Noise Harmful | Secret Revealed

is sleeping with white noise harmful

Is Sleeping With White Noise Harmful?

I hope by seeing the title of the blog post, you are definitely clear about the topic that we are gonna discuss today. A few days back, one of my clients asked the question that is the headline of today's post.

Though I answered to his query and he was satisfied with the answer but at the same time, a thought flashed my mind that this can be a query of many other people and so, why not to write an informative post around this topic.

If you are the one who doesn't have any idea about the white noise and just landed on this post from the search engine then, I can assure you that you are gonna get A-Z information regarding the topic.

Without wasting any time...

Let's Begin...

White noise is a type of sound that is produced by combining sounds of all the frequencies together. 

In the layman language, imagine all the tones that a human ear can hear and then, combine all of them and, you will hear a peculiar sound and, that is white sound.

You can correlate white sound to white light. The white light is a combination of all the colors(frequencies). You can pass the white light through a prism to get back the component colors.

In short, you can think of white noise as a combination of 20,000 tonnes, all playing at the same time.

Now, you have an idea of white noise so, let's move to the next section where we will discuss some of the common use of white and most importantly, how it can impact our life- positive or negative.

The most common use of white noise is to mask other frequencies. For example, you are in your cubicle and the voice from other cubicle is coming into yours then, you can get rid of the unwanted noise by simple switching on a white noise fan.

You may be wondering how the outside noise can be prevented from entering your office cubicle. Trust me, I am NOT shocked because I had the same thought when I was researching about the white noise.

I always say to my friends that I may be wrong but math can never be wrong. So, we will discuss a mathematical example that will clear all your doubts as it did mine.

Before that I would like to know whether have you ever heard or seen 500 or 1000 persons talking together. If yes, then can you recall the noise that is produced by the conversation of 1000 persons at the same time. It is almost similar to the white noise.

If you haven't heard so many people talking at the same time, then I will help you to understand it with the help of a simple mathematical calculation.

Let's say two people are having a conversation in front of you and it a normal pitch then, in the normal case, your brain has the capability to "pick out" one of the two voices and listen to it and try to understand it. Again, the voice that the brain will pick "out of the two" may depend on many factors such as loudness, tone etc.

Similarly, if three or four persons are having a conversation then also, your brain will "pick out" one out of them and, try to listen to it.


What if, the number of people in the conversation is increased to 1000 or more.

Will your brain be picking one voice out of 1000?

Absolutely NOT.

In short, our brain doesn't have the capability to pick a voice out of 1000 different voices.

It turns out that 1000 people talking simultaneously is more like white noise and the same impact can be artificially created by using a white noise fan or a white noise machine.

So, getting back to the office cubicle case study.

By switching on the white noise fan, you are able to produce a sound that is almost equivalent to 1000 people having the conversation at the same time and adding noise of saying one, two or even ten people coming from other cubicles is NOT gonna make any difference.

Simple mathematics,

White Noise= 1000 people conversation
Noise from other office cubicles = one, two ... ten.

Total= 1000 + 10 = 1010 conversation.

So, these ten conversations coming from the other cubicles will NOT make any difference and thus, I can assure you that by using the white fan you can negate the unwanted noise from entering your cubicle.

I hope I am able to help you understand the concept of white noise and how it works.

Now, I am gonna discuss the white noise in the context of sleeping which is the topic of today's post. 

It is highly recommended to have eight hours of sound sleep. Sleeping is perhaps the best way to recover from damage and prepare yourself for future without spending a single penny.

Allow me to highlight the benefits of sleeping.
  • Keeps your heart healthy
  • Reduces stress and inflammation
  • Helps the body to repairs by itself
  • May reduce your risk of depression
  • May help you to lose weight
Allow me to through some light on the complications that can occur due to the lack of sleep.
  • Kills sex drive
  • Ages your skin
  • Can make you forgetful
  • May increase risk of death
  • May lead to weight gain
  • May lead to serious health problems
Well, we have a fair idea of the benefits of good sleep and problem that can arise due to the lack of proper sleep.

So, what can be the reason of troubled sleep?

Here, I will not be talking about the emotional or the personal problems that can interrupt your sleep by throwing you into stress or depression.

Mostly, we will be limiting ourselves around the external problems that can be easily negated with the help of white noise machines.

Some common external problems that can cause an interruption to a sound sleep are highlighted below:
  • Loud family members
  • Loud neighbors
  • Loud traffic noise
  • Loud cars or motorcycles passing by your apartment
I have just listed the few and the source of noise can be numerous. It can be as small as the barking of dogs to as big as airplanes sound. You may not consider an airplane sound as noisy in normal case but if you live in an apartment near the airport then, you will definitely consider it a very noisy source.

If you are the one who sleeps in a few minutes after getting into the bed whatsoever is the ambiance then, you don't need a machine to mitigate the noise.
I will suggest you do not use any white noise machine until and unless you really feel the need for it.

sleeping with white noise

How White Noise Improves Your Sleep?

As a human being, we don't get panic even if we hear the loud noise of some known machine such as an alarm clock.

So, loud noise if we are familiar with it and it doesn't raise any red flag then, we don't have to worry too much.

Sleeping is an ongoing process and it depends on a lot of parameters, few of them we have already highlighted.

For example, I have seen loads and loads of people in my life who can sleep through the noise of an entire barnyard but at the same time, there are many who get disturbed and jolted out of sleep by the television sound or a home appliance noise.

Allow me to share an interesting fact about human behavior and how weird it is.

Studies have shown that most of us have the worst sleep when we find doctors and nurses talking outside our room as compared to the loud machine operating in the room.

So, we can to some extent also related the problem of sleepless night to "fear". 

Anyways in this post, we aren't going to dive deep in the sleeplessness and the stress related.

Let's highlight the way the white noise machine works.
  • It mitigates the effects of all the external noise that can alarm us in our deep sleep.
  • Helps the brain to take rest.
  • Enhancing the sleeping process by running a sleeping rhythm.

The Deeper Sleep

sleeping with white noise

The deeper sleep is different from the longer or steadier sleep and sometimes a deeper sleep can be a costlier affair as well. For example, if you're army personnel and you have duty on the border then, you can afford a deep sleep even when you aren't on duty.

You need to be well versed with a light sleep so that you can wake up at the snap of a finger.

But in most of the cases, we need a deeper sleep. If you are in a regular 9 to 5 job then, a deeper sleep will help you to prepare well for the next day and also, helps you to cope up from day to day stressful situations.

The white noise fan will accelerate the process of deep sleep.

The Steadier Sleep

Steadier sleep is very important for the healing of the body in a natural way. Allow me to explain it with an example. If you are sleeping for 10 hours and your sleep is full of nightmares and loads of external noise such as vehicle horns, traffic noise, dogs barking, home appliances sound then, you may not feel fresh even after long hours of sleep.

What is the solution?

The white noise fan once switched on produces a constant humming sound. As a result, a background is prepared to give you an uninterrupted sleep.

In the layman language, we can say that white noise machines sort of trick your brain.

Though your brain will hear a constant humming of white noise still it will relax because the pitch of the noise is constant and the brain gets disturbed more by the fluctuation of the amplitude of the noise.

The Restful Sleep

The sole purpose of our 10 hours sleep or a 10-minute nap is to recover for the daily tear and wear of the body.

When you wake up, you should feel energetic, relaxed, and free from the stress.

Let's boil it down to:
  • Nightmares being suppressed.
  • Rapid transitions being avoided.
  • REM sleep cycles being bolstered.
Trust me, white noise fan can help you to get the REM as per your need, by providing the required ambiance for the restful sleep.

To get into a deep sleep, you have to relax your brain from all the stress and worries. Even thought of waking up early tomorrow morning can prevent your brain from getting into a restful sleep.

However, a night of restful sleep is very important for your body to recuperate from the daily tear and bear.

A lot of health complications can be mitigated by getting restful sleep.

Before we conclude, allow me to share some of the mind-boggling product review posts.

What are the harmful effects of White Noise?

Though scientifically it has been found that white noise doesn't have a long-term negative effect on your health still it has some to look for.

Let's boil it down to two important factors:
  • Addiction to the white sound machine
  • The loudness of the machine
Sometimes the greatest benefits can be the worst potential danger, isn't it?

The selection of a correct white noise machine is very important to rule out the potential danger that white noise machine can cause.

There are few white noise machines that are very loud and need to be handled with care.

When you are planning to buy a white noise machine, you must check the decibels that it will produce. If the sound that it will produce exceeds the 85 decibels then, it will have a negative impact on your health.

Needless to say, exposure to 85 decibels and above for 8 hours and above can lead to serious health complications.

How to pick the white noise machine?

I have written a detailed article and you can take advantage of it.
Especially be wary of the white noise level if you are planning to use for improving the kids sleeping duration.

I have been using white noise fan from a long time and the thing that I really don't like is the addition of it. In fact, using it on a regular basis can make your brain addicted to it.

However, you can negate the side-effects by simply limiting your and your toddlers' exposure to these machines. 

Prevention is always better can cure.

I will suggest you, do use it but not on a frequent basis.

Wrapping Up: Is Sleeping With White Noise Harmful

The researches done on the white noise aren't conclusive but at the same time, we can't deny the fact that it's promising.

In most of the cases, the white noise is found to be useful and relatively harmless.

However, I will request you to be wary and imply it with cautious in your own life.

Being cautious isn't at all a bad trait, right?


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